Below are the top 20 inside tips to build a powerful body and get into the greatest shape of your life!
Exercise in Order
Use dumbbells, barbells, and machines;in that order. “The smaller, stabilizer muscles you use with dumbbells fatigue before your larger muscle groups,” says Charles Staley, a strength coach in Las Vegas. So progress to machines, which require less help from your smaller muscles, as you grow tired.
Muscle Up Your Back
When doing lat pulldowns, don’t wrap your thumb around the bar. Instead, place it on top, alongside your index finger. This decreases the involvement of your arm muscles, so you’ll work your back harder. Works for pullups, too.
Lose Your Weak Spot
If you don’t like an exercise, start doing it. “You’re probably avoiding it because you’re weak at it,” says Michael Mejia, C.S.C.S., Men’s Health exercise advisor.
Turn Heads With Your Legs
Build Big Biceps
Bend your wrists to work your biceps harder. That is, extend them backward slightly—and hold them that way — while you do arm curls.
Ditch the Weight Belt
Double Dip Benefits
Do dips with your elbows in and your body straight to work your triceps. But lean forward and flare them out to focus on your chest.
Build Arms Faster
Work opposing muscle groups — your biceps and triceps, for instance — back-to-back for a faster workout. “While one muscle is working, the other is forced to rest,” says Staley. You won’t need as much time between sets.
Do More Chinups
Don’t think about pulling yourself up when you do chinups. Instead, imagine pulling your elbows down. The exercise will seem easier.
Multiply Your Muscles
Follow this simple formula to build more muscle: Multiply the amount of weight you lift for a particular exercise by the total number of times you lift it. Try to increase that number every workout by lifting heavier weights, increasing your repetitions, or doing more sets.
Sit Back, Squat More
Get Stronger Legs
Do lunges in reverse. This forces your front leg to work throughout the entire exercise. Use the same movement pattern as in a traditional lunge, but step backward instead of forward.
Squeeze Out Gains
Go Light, Get Strong
Lift light weights fast to build strength. Your muscles will generate as much force as if you were lifting a heavier weight more slowly. Try it with the bench press: Use a weight that’s 40 to 60 percent of what you can lift one time, and do eight sets of three repetitions, pushing the weight up as fast as possible. Rest 30 seconds between sets.
Exercise one arm at a time. Do a set of shoulder presses with your left arm, then do a set with your right. “You’ll get higher-quality sets than if you work both arms at the same time,” says Craig Ballantyne, C.S.C.S., a trainer in Canada.
Flex for Muscle
Build Quality Quads
Get a Better Grip
To strengthen your grip, wrap a towel around the bar when you do arm curls. It makes the bar thicker, which forces your forearm muscles to work harder.
Improve Your Max
Build Real Strength
Don’t use machine weights exclusively. A study at Georgia State University found that older adults using exercise machines improved their strength on the machines an average of 34 percent in 2 years. But their strength measures for everyday activities actually declined 3.5 percent.
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